Cebu City, located in the south-central region of the Philippines, is a bustling port and one of the country’s largest cities. It is a rich and historic city with roots dating back to the pre-colonial era.
Short History of Cebu City
The city’s colonial past dates back to the arrival of Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan in 1521. He landed on the island of Homonhon in Samar, then moved on to the nearby island of Limasawa, where he held the first Catholic mass in the Philippines.
Magellan then sailed to Cebu, where he met Rajah Humabon, who became one of the first Christian converts. Magellan also named the island “Sugbo,” which eventually became “Cebu.”
Historical Places to Visit in Cebu
1. Magellan’s Cross
According to legend, Magellan planted the cross when he landed on the island. Today, it’s a reminder of the city’s Christian roots and an enduring symbol of its cultural heritage. Your visit to Cebu isn’t complete without a selfie in this tourist spot.
2. Santo Niño Basilica
The Santo Niño Basilica is one of Cebu’s most significant and iconic landmarks. It is home to the Santo Niño de Cebu, a baby Jesus statue given to the Rajah Humabon by Magellan. The basilica was built in 1565.
3. Fort San Pedro
This military defense structure was built by the Spanish conquistador Miguel López de Legazpi. It is located in the area now known as Plaza Independencia, and it served as the first Spanish settlement in the country.
4. Casa Gorodo Museum
The Casa Gorordo Museum is a historic house built in the 19th century. It was the home of the Gorordo family, a prominent Cebuano family during the Spanish colonial period. The house is now a museum that showcases the lifestyle of well-off families during the Spanish colonial times.
5. Colon Street
Known as the oldest street in the Philippines, Colon Street is a bustling commercial hub in downtown Cebu City. It was named after Cristóbal Colón, the Spanish name for Christopher Columbus, and has been the center of trade and commerce in the city for centuries.
How to Get a Tour of Cebu’s Historical Places
Exploring Cebu’s colonial past is like going on a treasure hunt. If you want to find the best spots to visit, book one of our tour packages in the Queen City of the South.